It may not seem like it as you’re still navigating your separation and working toward your divorce while focusing on the well-being of your child. However, at some point, you’ll likely want to start dating.
Typically, it’s best to spend a little time getting your child adjusted to their new routine of transitioning between homes and helping them feel secure that you and your ex will both still be a parenting team for them.
How to keep your social life from causing your child anxiety
When you do start seeing someone (or playing the field a bit), it’s best to keep this part of your life separate from your child. Here are a few things that help you do that, while still allowing you to build a new life for yourself.
- Take advantage of your co-parent’s time with your child to spend time with the person you’re dating.
- Try to keep some space between the places you go with your child and the places you go on dates.
- Don’t let your new social life interfere with the times your child expects you to be there for them.
- Avoid posting pictures or other information about your dates on social media.
- Don’t introduce someone to your child until you’re fairly certain they’re going to be part of your life for awhile.
How much you share your romantic life with your child depends on a lot of factors. If you have a teen, they may be encouraging you to date. A young child may find it confusing and worry about what it means for your relationship with them and their other parent.
Don’t let your co-parent use your social life against you
While lying to your child about a new relationship isn’t a good idea, you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to – especially if they haven’t met the person yet. Remember that most anything you tell them will likely get back to your co-parent. While you might want them to know you’ve moved on, they could cause problems.
Dating after divorce (or even during divorce) shouldn’t affect your parenting rights as long as it’s not interfering with your parenting responsibilities. However, don’t give your co-parent ammunition to use against you. If they’re trying to do that, it’s important to have sound legal guidance to help you protect your parenting rights.